Book Beat’s Reading Group pick for January is Suspended Sentences by 2014 Nobel Prize-Winner Patrick Modiano. The Reading Group will meet Wednesday, January 28 at 7pm in the Goldfish Teahouse (117 W. 4th Street, Downtown Royal Oak 48067). Books are discounted 15% at Book Beat. All are welcome!
“These three atmospheric novellas demonstrate the range of reading pleasure afforded by Modiano’s approach and the dark romance of his Paris . . . each first-person novella is also a portrait of the artist.”—Publishers Weekly
In this essential trilogy of novellas by the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, French author Patrick Modiano reaches back in time, opening the corridors of memory and exploring the mysteries to be encountered there. Although originally published separately, Modiano’s three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers—each appears in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists.
Shadowed by the dark period of the Nazi Occupation, these novellas reveal Modiano’s fascination with the lost, obscure, or mysterious: a young person’s confusion over adult behavior; the repercussions of a chance encounter; the search for a missing father; the aftershock of a fatal affair. To read Modiano’s trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates.
“An excellent place to begin . . . Here is the bracing darkness at the heart of Modiano’s vision of memory and modern day Paris . . . a traveling back to travel forward, a journey these novellas pace with the elegance of a solitary walker, moving through a city’s streets, his collar up against the cold.”—John Freeman, Reviewed in the Boston Globe
Patrick Modiano is a best-selling novelist and the winner of some of the most prestigious literary awards in France, including the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca for lifetime achievement. In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”